Jeffrey E. SternApr 18, 2023
A Story of Brotherhood and Terror in the Afghanistan War
In the early days of the Afghanistan war, Jeff Stern was scouring the streets of Kabul for a big story. He was accompanied by a driver, Aimal, who had ambitions of his own: to get rich off the sudden infusion of foreign attention and cash.
In this gripping adventure story, Stern writes of how he and Aimal navigated an environment full of guns and danger and opportunity, and how they forged a deep bond.
Then Stern got a call that changed everything. He discovered that Aimal had become an arms dealer, and was ultimately forced to flee the country to protect his family from his increasingly dangerous business partners.
Tragic, powerful, and layered, The Mercenary: A Story of Brotherhood and Terror in the Afghanistan War (PublicAffairs, 2023) is more than a wartime drama. It is a Rashomon-like story about how politics and violence warp our humanity, and keep the most important truths hidden.